When Labor Votes: A Study of Auto Workers

When Labor Votes: A Study of Auto Workers

When Labor Votes: A Study of Auto Workers

When Labor Votes: A Study of Auto Workers

Excerpt

This study was made possible by a research grant to Wayne University from the automobile workers' international union, the UAW-CIO. No strings were attached to the union's gift. It was clearly understood that we would have complete freedom in the conduct of the research and in the publication of our results.

The union's purpose, as stated in a letter from Walter Reuther to the University, was "to contribute to better understanding, and thus to improved functioning, of our democratic political system as an instrument for meeting the needs and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of Americans in all walks of life." He added: "In order to serve its purpose effectively, the survey must be as objective and free from bias as it is humanly possible to make it." It was also specified that the union would receive the same report that would be made available to others.

These facts may be as important as the content of the study itself. Industrial and political organizations have been reluctant to support research into their own activities under conditions of the kind described. The UAWs' decision to do so offers evidence of increased security and self-confidence on the part of the union and bespeaks respect and trust in regard to University social research that we find most encouraging.

The research reported here aims to have practical significance in reference to the current political scene; it provides useful information for persons concerned with the participation of . . .

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